Putting Gaza in context — A short documentary unpicks the deep roots of the Gaza conflict, a human-made disaster driven by the state of Israel’s violent settler-colonial project in Palestine.

In Summer 2014, Israel launched its most devastating offensive on the besieged Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip to date. Israeli forces unleashed 6,000 airstrikes and 50,000 artillery shells in an air and ground offensive that lasted for 51 days, yet managed to paint itself as the victim in Western media.

Gaza in Context is a short explainer documentary from the Arab Studies Institute which attempts to put the long-running Gaza conflict in its proper context: nearly seven decades of violent seizure of Palestinian land by the state of Israel. The film was conceived in the wake of the 2014 Gaza offensive, with the aim of re-balancing the narrative around the conflict that has repeatedly favoured the Israeli perspective.

In just 20 minutes, the film provides a comprehensive background and explores how since 1948, Israel has systematically moved to expel Palestinians from their land – militarily or through municipal land laws. Like the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Gaza is one of the areas that remains nominally under Palestinian control within the borders of the state of Israel.

But as the film explains, Gaza has become the most brutal flashpoint due to Israel’s policy since the early nineties of setting it apart from the rest of the conflict through a policy of isolation, de-development, and control.

Gaza today is on the verge of collapse, due to its chronic overpopulation, the destruction of its infrastructure, and the lack of hygiene and access to clean water and food. Even before the start of the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, the World Health Organization stated that the Gaza Strip would be unliveable by 2020.

But this suffering is not inevitable. The film ends with the reminder that this a human-made disaster, therefore a human-made solution is possible.

Find out more about the Gaza in Context project.

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